Greater is the One who is in you than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set you minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
“When I (Neil) was a boy on the farm, my dad, my brother and I would visit our neighbor’s farm to share produce and labor. The neighbor had a yappy little dog that scared the socks off me. When it came barking around the corner, my dad and brother stood their ground, but I ran. Guess who the dog chased! I would escape to the top of our pickup truck while the little dog yapped at me from the ground.
Everyone except me could see that the little dog had no power over me except what I gave it. Furthermore, it had no inherent power to throw me up on the pickup; it was my belief that put me up there. That dog controlled me by using my mind, my emotions, my will and my muscles, all of which were motivated by fear. One day I finally gathered up my courage, jumped off the pickup and kicked a small rock at the mutt. Lo and behold, the mutt ran!
Satan is like that yappy little dog, deceiving people into fearing him more than God. His power is in the lie. He is the father of lies (see John 8:44) who deceives the whole world (see Rev. 12:9), and consequently the whole world is under the influence of the evil one (see 1 John 5:19). He can do nothing about your position in Christ, but if he can deceive you into believing his lies about you and God, you will spend a lot of time on top of the proverbial pickup truck!
You don’t have to out shout or out-muscle Satan to be free of his influence. You just have to out-truth him. Believe, declare and act upon the truth of God’s Word, and you will thwart Satan’s strategy. Truth is the liberating agent. The power of Satan is in the lie, and the power of the believer is in knowing truth.
Many Christians are not living a victorious life because they focus on negative thoughts and circumstances (yappy little dogs) instead of fixing their eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (see Heb. 12:2). When people focus on the dogs, their emotions follow suit and they feel powerless and defeated. If they feel like that long enough, they begin to believe that’s the way it is, so they continue to live that way.
Scripture has a different order. We have to know the truth; then believe the truth; then live accordingly, by faith, and our feelings will follow. When our Christian experience doesn’t match the truth, we wrongly ask, “What experience must I have in order for that to be true?” Experience will never get you there. You walk by faith according to what God says is true, and your experience will work out.
The same order applies to our relationship with God and our works of service. I don’t labor in the vineyard, hoping that someday God will accept me. I am already accepted by God; that is why I labor in the vineyard. I don’t do the things I do, hoping that God will someday love me. God loves me; that is why I do the things I do. Remember, it is not what you do that determines who you are. Who you are determines what you do.
Paul admonishes us in Colossians 3:5-14 to put to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature; to rid ourselves of anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language; to refrain from lying and to practice compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; and, most difficult of all, to bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances we may have. How are we going to do that?
The first three verses of Colossians 3 tell us that we should set our minds on the things above and our new life within. If we set our minds on the truth that our old self has died, that a new self has been raised up with Christ and that Christ is now our life, then we can walk by faith. The remnants of our old self will fall away and we will become more and more like Christ.”
One Day at a Time Mike & Julia Quarles pp 344-347 also The Bondage Breaker, Neil Anderson pp 23,24.